Tuesday night was our annual Relief Society Garden Party for the ladies at church. The theme for the night was “In Her Shoes.” We shared the message that although the shoes we might wear in life differ,
we are all walking the same path in hopes of arriving at the same destination. None of us need to walk alone.
As Relief Society sisters we are here to support, encourage, and lean on each other when our burdens are heavy and when we are tempted to just sit down and quit walking.
It was a night of sisterhood, fellowship, laughter and tears as we became better acquainted with each other, shared our stories with new friends, and cried tears of support as we listened to the messages spoken.
The night was a true labor of love as many women offered up their time and talents to create a special night for an amazing group of ladies.
Here is a peek at our night…
We hit our first hiccup on Monday night when the weather channel reported a 70% chance of rain. Last year’s garden party was so much fun and the ladies enjoyed being outside so I was crushed when we had to make the call to move it into the gym at church. I had no idea how our committee was going to manage turning an ugly gym into a “garden,” but thanks to the many green thumbs in our group we were able to gather enough potted flowers to achieve the garden look we were looking for. I then tore apart my home and with the help of Toby and the kids moved half my home into the gym for the night. 🙂
My family was a huge help as they dedicated their day to helping mom avoid going off the deep end. We joke in our family that every calling Toby or I take on becomes a family calling. 🙂 Yesterday we had a few extra honorary committee members!
With God’s grace we pulled it off and the finished result wasn’t too shabby.We carried the shoe theme through all facets of the evening, beginning with our centerpieces. Each table had a different colored pair of heels. As the women arrived they chose a button pin to wear and had to find the high heel shoes that matched their ribbon color and that determined where everyone sat for the evening. It was a fun way to encourage the ladies to mix and mingle and get to know new friends.
The evening began with a delicious appetizer table prepared by Karen. It turned out so pretty that we almost hated to dig in…but we did, and it was delicious!
We let the women have some time enjoying appetizers and chit-chat before our first activity began.
Then it was time for our first game of the night: Speed Friendship. For this game the ladies sat in two rows , facing each other. They were given a list of possible “get to know you” questions that they could use if they wanted or they could ask their own questions.
A whistle blew and Shelley, who was running the game, gave them 60 seconds to get to know the lady that sat across from them before she blew the whistle again and they had to move down a chair. It was a fun, fast-paced way to get to know each other a bit better.
Then it was time for dinner. When we first talked about the theme we came up with the fun idea of serving dinner in shoe boxes. I was able to order white shoe boxes online and Pat put her creative touch on them to make them pretty. With the help of many “behind the scene” helpers each box was filled with a croissant, chicken salad, pasta salad, a bag of potato chips, a small bottle of water, 2 dinner mints and utensils/napkin. Dinner was delicious and the shoe boxes were a fun touch!
Following dinner we had the spiritual message of our evening. The ladies who serve in Primary (those who teach the children on Sunday) sang a special musical number.
Then we heard from three amazing sisters (Karen, Rorie, and Shelley) who shared their personal stories of what it is like to walk in their shoes and the lessons they have learned from their journey. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and I think we all left feeling humbled and less alone in our own personal struggles.
When the program was complete we ended with prayer and then revealed the answers to our other game of the night: “Guess Whose Shoes.” For this game the ladies had to guess the owners of 10 different pairs of shoes that we had on display. There were a wide variety of shoes from ballerina slippers, to cowboy boots, to bowling shoes. As we revealed the answers the owners of the shoes stood and shared the stories behind the shoes they brought. It was another fun way to learn something new about the ladies we pass in the halls at church each week.
The winning players won crazy shoelaces (donated by Diana.)
The night ended with high heel shoe cupcakes, lovingly made by Teresa. They were adorable and brought home the theme of the night in the sweetest possible way!
The message of the night was a powerful one. So often we feel alone in our walk through life. We often feel weighed down and weary. Sometimes we find ourselves stumbling and wondering if anyone even noticed. Sometimes we are tempted to just sit down and refuse to take another step forward.
When we feel this way we need to remember to look up, look around, and reach out to those walking near us…
Reach out for help, or reach out to offer help.
That is the beautiful blessing of Relief Society:
We never need to walk alone. 🙂